Each year Anglophone Sisters and Associates of our Congregation gather to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Songs, music, Irish coffee and delicious food are a part of this very festive occasion. As of last year, we replaced our long-standing tradition of exchanging gifts at this party by an enthusiastic response to the 2006 General Chapter Act regarding collaboration with Lesotho:
INTERDEPENDENCE: A RESPONSE TO THE CRIES OF THE WORLD “Recognizing that many of our sisters and brothers around the world are dying from HIV/AIDS, and particularly in the continent of Africa, we are conscious of the impact of this disease in Lesotho, where our SNJM Sisters and Associates minister. Inspired by their faith and courage in caring for the children and families affected by HIV/AIDS, we partner with them by: supporting projects initiated in Lesotho through fund raising and other collaboration.”
Last year, each person brought a shoebox filled with school supplies, toys, toiletries, etc. These and many other donations were sent by container ship to Sister Gisèle Foucrault SNJM in Lesotho, Africa, to be distributed to those in need. The number of boxes exceeded all expectations.
We are very grateful to the ADEP foundation under the auspices of Mr. Claude Wilson and Mr. Guy Bellehumeur for overseeing this wonderful project.
This year, in the context of a reflective prayer, “On Being Light For Others” we watched a video in which several Sisters in Lesotho spoke about their ministry in the schools and in the clinics, particularly with the ever-rising number of children whose parents have died of AIDS.
Learning that our donations can finance the education of one of these orphans for as little as .45 cents a day, moved us to fill an Irish container, a Pot of Gold, with $1 835 (equivalent to $18 245 in Lesotho currency).
These donations cover tuition, uniforms, books, supplies and food. In an atmosphere of silence, enhanced by instrumental music, and feeling connected to our Sisters and to the orphans they are helping, we experienced deep joy, knowing that we are tangibly showing our support, concern and love.